Omaha Hi/Lo also known as “Omaha/8” is one of the most popular variants of Omaha poker marked by an interesting showdown. It is a split pot game in which the money in the pot is equally divided between two players – One who makes a High Hand and another who makes the best qualifying Low Hand.
How to Play Omaha Hi/Lo
Similar to the regular Pot Limit and No Limit Omaha, Omaha Hi/Lo online is played between 2 to 9 players with the 52 cards deck. Each player is dealt 4 private cards visible to them only. 5 community cards are dealt face up on the table in three rounds – Flop, Turn and River. A player needs to essentially use 2 hole cards and 3 community cards to form a winning hand. A player forming the highest hand as per regular poker hand ranking wins the half of the pot at showdown. One who forms the best qualifying low hand as per the Omaha Hi/Lo rules wins the other half of the pot. A player can use same or different hole card to complete his High and Low hand.
In case, if none of the player has a low hand on the table, the player making best high hand wins the full pot. A player who makes both – the best high hand and the best low hand scoops the pot which means winning the full pot.
Omaha Hi/Lo betting rules
The betting rules in Omaha Hi/Lo remain same as the normal Omaha Hi game. Once the dealer is marked by a button, the player sitting left to him puts in the small blind. The player sitting to the left of the Small Blind puts in the Big Blind. Betting in Omaha Hi/Lo proceeds in four rounds – Preflop, Flop, Turn and River.
A player may take 5 actions to bet in any round of Omaha Hi/lo:
Call: Match the highest bet amount on the table in the ongoing round of game.
Raise: Increase the bet amount in the same betting round.
Check: Continue in the game without betting any amount. A player can check only if he/she has already matched the biggest bet on the table or if no one has yet opened the betting round.
Fold: Leave the ongoing game by surrendering the hole cards to the dealer and wait for the next game.
All-in: A player may move all-in by betting the whole amount he/she possesses on table.
Omaha Hi/Lo Game Play
The Omaha Hi/Lo online poker game starts with two players putting in the Small and Big blinds. The game proceeds in a clockwise turn of action by each player as per the Omaha Hi/Lo betting rules. Let’s take an example of 4-player Omaha Hi/Lo gameplay.
Player 1 gets A♠ 8♦ J♦ 5♠
Player 2 gets Q♣ 8♠ 10♥ 7♥
Player 3 gets 6♥ 10♣ 9♥ 3♥
Player 4 gets A♥ 9♦ 2♠ 10♦
The primary betting round is the 'Pre Flop' that begins with the player sitting to the left of the Big Blind & proceeds clockwise round the table. The pre flop round is followed by flop, turn and river. The betting rounds in Omaha Hi/Lo game are explained below:-
Once cards are dealt, player sitting to the left of the Big Blind start the preflop round of betting. Each player gets a chance of action in a clockwise round of action in this round where they can call, fold or raise the bet. The Betting goes round the table until each active player (who has not folded) have bet equal amounts in the pot.
In our gameplay example, Player 2 folded in preflop betting round while other made equal bets and continued in the game.
Once the preflop round of betting ends, 3 community cards are dealt on the table known as Flop. Now, the player sitting next to the dealer opens the Flop round of betting. Each player gets a chance to act by calling, folding or raising the bet in a clockwise round of turns which goes on till all the active players have placed equal bets in the pot.
In our gameplay example, 3 Flop cards 6♠ K♠ 4♣ opened on the table following which Player 3 folded while Player 1 and Player 2 bet equal amounts to continue in the game.
After the Flop round of betting is complete, the turn card in dealt face up on the table which sets off the turn round of betting. The rules of the turn betting round are exactly the same as the flop.
In our gameplay example, Turn card 3♠ is dealt following which both the players checked and the turn round ended with that.
After the turn round of betting is over, the fifth community card is dealt on the table known as River. The betting again continues similar to the Turn round.
In our gameplay example, River card Q♥ is dealt following which Player 4 went All-in which Player 1 called.
The cards of each live player in displayed which is termed as the Showdown. The cards of the player forming High Hand are highlighted first and he wins half of the pot. Now, the cards of the players forming Low Hand is highlighted and he takes the remaining half of the money in the pot.
In our gameplay example, Player 1 wins half of the pot with the High Hand: Flush - A♠K♠6♠ 5♠3♠. Player 4 wins the other half of the pot with the Low Hand: 6 Low - 6♠4♣3♠2♠A♥.